Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The TBR Pile Rescue!

I read over at KristieJ's that her TBR pile is starting to cause anxiety.

Been there.

For a long while.

My TBR pile can be such a fickle bitch but I commented at Kristie's that this year it saved my ass big time.

I'll have to go back through my posts for this year but I'm pretty sure all the books I have been reading in 2009 have been from the TBR pile. When backed into the Slumpville corner the only thing I could finally do was face the pile and just start picking.

I started easy.

I decided those Harlequin books would help get my numbers up for reading this year and I knew it was part of my stumbling block. Once I got past a few books I was able to look at other ones in the pile that I had thought about or heard about for the past year or two.

It was like a reward for darting through more than 4 books for the year. Pressure was off, I had officially beat my horribly pathetic record from last year and now I could pick those odd books out of the pile that had been calling for a while.

Yep, looking at the my tag for Books Read 2009 I see that the first 4 books of the year were Harlequins. Diana Palmer and Jessica Bird.


It was then I decided a box needed to busted open so I went with a romantica. Once again, looking at the AAR Annual Poll I picked the title that won. Beth Kerry's Wicked Burn.

Sadly I just had to skim my own review to remember anything about this book. The good news is I didn't stop reading and I used my 'new super power' skimming over the blah stuff.

Side trip: Buckled up? Let's go!

Skimming for me is a painful way to read. I swear my brain sends out 'pain' impulses to stop my eyes from passing over words.
I remember in high school they had a few lessons on how to speed read.

I tried all methods (looking at one word in a line of text and somehow the brain absorbs the rest *snort*, reading the first and last sentence of paragraphs etc) and discovered that I knew next to nothing about a story or essay when I got to the end.

And then there was the whole 'hurting' thing going on. Probably trying too hard.

Anyways, I have been honing the skill but I figure I do it differently than probably most people.
If I'm antsy or board I will skip the descriptive scenes of a room or house or what ever. I have a pretty good imagination so I only need a few words for my brain to have it all figured out. Also anything about food, especially when it runs over long. Three paragraphs to describe a dinner table and I'm either yawning or putting the book down to hunt for some food in the pantry.

Hmm, so good question. What does skimming a book mean to you? Are your eyes still scanning every line (that's what I automatically think of when someone says they skimmed a book) or are you more like me in that you'll skip over paragraphs to get to dialogue or past drawn out descriptions?

Annnnnd, we're back!

After this book I wanted to read an author who had a good past with me and my attention was pulled to Kresley Cole.

There was a book in the pile by Kresley Cole (there are actually another 4 including this one) but I picked Kissed By A Demon King because it was published in 2009.

Huh, would definitely count for next years AAR Annual Poll and I would get a new number up there on my sidebar in a different category.


Then I hit that description of the hero that had me scratching my head and yearning to just drop the book and try something else. Only that's where my slumps begin. With stopping. So I waited and picked the book up here and there while running errands with my husband until it reached out and grabbed me and said 'Hey, pay attention! I'm awesome!'

And it was.



The next book wasn't from the pile. Nope. Nalini Singh had a new series out and I decided I was allowed a free pass.

Sadly, it was back to the TBR pile afterwards because the Singh wasn't what I expected and I needed a pick me up.

Jessica Bird was back up from the pile and on deck.

It was good.

Ah yes, now I remember. I was heading back to my massive and towering TBR pile to pick out the next Jessica Bird book I found.

Turns out I don't have the ones I was looking for. Which surprised me because I thought my massive and towering TBR pile had everything I would need!

Bad TBR pile.

So I kind of had to move on.

And there in the pile was Seduced By A Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt. It had been flashing it's pretty yellow cover at me for a while and I had shifted it back and forth not sure I was ready to read a historical again.

Turns out it was terrific. (I'm working on one of 'my' reviews)

And now I'm back at the well, picking through the pile knowing a good book is in there somewhere.

And my reading speed is A-okay with me for now so that's a positive.

I should admit though that the month of May has some new releases I'm really looking forward too. Hello Anne Stuart!

What's funny is that in reviewing what I've been reading this year I've discovered that most of the books were a disappointment.

Out of the 9 books I have now read, only two are keepers. Then there are an F and D review of Palmer books, three C reviews and two B reviews (which meant I must have enjoyed them). For me, C books aren't ones I enjoyed but I wouldn't say other people wouldn't find something in those books for themselves.

So there we have it.

Let's call this a 'first quarter review' cause Wow, I got wordy!


Bookwormom said...

I'm reading out of my TBR too- but none of the romances. I'm tending to the other end of the spectrum though. I've come very close to hauling all of the romances to the library sale & leaving them there. Exasperation. Boredom. Burn out. I don't know. Haven't done it yet.

Sometimes I skim, but I don't like to. For me it means that the author is losing me. I'm impatient or uninvolved or something. Whatever it is, it isn't working.

CindyS said...

Bookwormom - uh, oh. Dumping your romance books!? That would scare me & scar me ;) It's probably all those things, exasperation, boredom and burn out. I know I was there a few years back. Couldn't pick up a historical romance for a long while. I couldn't get past the first paragraph with the heroes long lineage being detailed. Yawn.

But you are still reading & maybe in two years you'll decide to go back to romance. So, no hauling yet!


C2 said...

Lalalalalalala! *fingers over ears and eyes*

I'm ignoring both you and Kristie and your talk of TBR woes. Yikes! I'm afraid to even go see how many books are in mine. Am I gonna stop buying, though? Nope. It's a sickness, I tell ya.

As for skimming...I just sort of let my eyes zoom down the page. If a word jumps out at me, I stop. Otherwise I just keep going. I hate to skim, though. I tend to blame myself for being in the wrong mood, rather than blame the book for sucking. Mostly. Sometimes the book just sucks beyond all reason. ;-)

Bookwormom said...

Resisting getting rid of them has been hard (believe it or not), but they're all still there. Every once in a while I'll read one & enjoy it, though, so that's what has saved so far. Hopefully, the burn out will pass & I can go back to devouring the romances too.


nath said...

Personally, I love my TBR pile :) perhaps I don't go back to it often enough, but like you said, it can save you at time :)

and LOL, go Cindy, go! You've been on a roll :)